For Stranger Things fans everywhere, one of the most shocking moments in the long-awaited fourth season came not from the plot, but from David Harbour’s shocking new physique. Harbour, who plays the beloved Sheriff Hopper in the hit Netflix original, appeared in the newest season looking noticeably thinner. In an interview with British GQ, the actor revealed that he had lost a total of 80 pounds in order to portray Hopper in his emaciated state after being held captive in a Russian prison.
“I don’t think I’ll ever do that again” Harbour spills to the magazine. He explained in the interview that he was able to lose the weight in just eight months through intermittent fasting and Pilates, but he wouldn’t undergo such a drastic transformation for a role ever again since nowadays “the prosthetics are too good.”
In a separate interview with CNET Magazine, Harbour also got real about what the public’s obsession with his “dad-bod” means to him. “I have a funny relationship with this dad bod thing. I sort of love it and the reason why I love it is actually very serious. I do think that in a certain way, I’ve become a bit of a sex symbol for our time — there are articles about people digging Hopper. But I’m also a little big and a little chubby. I love the idea of real bodies on television. And I love the idea of making real people beautiful and loved.”
The onscreen hero went on to explain how he is tired of “bodies on television that are impossibly thin” setting unrealistic standards for men and women alike, so he is happy to be a sex symbol that is real and genuine. A true advocate for body diversity and positivity, Harbour explains that he would love to see bigger men and women in lead roles: “I want them to be the hero.”
As if we all didn’t love Harbour enough for playing the wholesome Sheriff Hopper, we can love him even more for taking his heroic nature off-screen and advocating for body diversity in media.